June 8, 2011

State of Alabama
Press Release: Alabama Department of Commerce

ADO Selected as World Bank Private Sector Liaison Officer

The Alabama Development Office’s International Trade Division has been selected by the World Bank to act as the state’s Private Sector Liaison Officer (PSLO), which will help the state’s business community gain access to World Bank contract opportunities, be a resource for the private sector, and increase awareness of private sector-led growth in developing countries.


Governor Robert Bentley said, “My mission is to create jobs for Alabamians and the Alabama Development Office is charged with helping to fulfill that mission.  With more than half of U.S. exports going to developing countries, it is great news that Alabama’s World Bank liaison will make companies aware of World Bank funding and procurement opportunities.”


The ADO joins a prestigious group of just four other organizations in the United States with this endorsement, including the Chicago Global Mid-West Alliance, the Greater Houston Partnership the Trade Development Alliance of Greater Seattle, and the World Trade Center Institute in Baltimore.  


This announcement comes as exciting news for the state and its companies which are interested in accessing World Bank procurement opportunities in developing countries.  Since the Illinois PSLO opened, the number of World Bank contract awards for Illinois firms more than doubled, and the Midwest region saw an increase of more than a third in contracts, worth millions of dollars.


“This is an exciting opportunity to partner with the World Bank Group.  We have been aggressively pursing international markets for Alabama businesses and with this accreditation we have an exceptional opportunity to increase export activities and sales in developing countries,” stated Seth Hammett, Director of the ADO.


The World Bank invests in projects to improve living conditions and promote economic growth in developing countries.  These investments -- in improving infrastructure, telecommunications, and sanitation, or building clinics and schools -- generally involve International Competitive Bidding under guidelines established by the World Bank.  Alabama companies will have an opportunity to bid on these projects with the procurement supervised by the World Bank, which presents a level playing field for competition.


About the PSLO Program


The PSLO initiative is a network of business advocacy organizations that promote trade and investment between countries in conjunction with World Bank Group activities.  It serves as a key access point to the World Bank Group which works to foster trade and investment between countries with the support of the World Bank Group's products and services.   Currently, there is a global network of 107 PSLOs in 80 countries, including 39 in the Middle East and Africa, 31 in Europe and Central Asia, 18 in North & South America, and 19 in South & East Asia.


About the World Bank


The World Bank is a vital source of financial and technical assistance to developing countries around the world. Their mission is to help people help themselves and their environment by providing resources, sharing knowledge, building capacity and forging partnerships in the public and private sectors, with the goals of promoting economic growth and overcoming poverty.

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